K im Brown is the first to admit that she is the product of a functioning dysfunctional family. One of three children, her mother died when she was two years old and her grandparents took to raising her as their own along with several cousins who she refers to as siblings. On weekends, she would visit her father. It was at his encouragement when she was five years old that she have her first drink. He bet her $20 she couldn’t finish a large portion of Johnny Walker Red in a glass fittingly labeled: “I bet you can’t.” So she did. While her home with her grandparents was structured and loving, weekends at her father’s home became an ongoing party. Drinking and drugs were the standard as was verbal and physical abuse. Those weekends gave her a desire “to take care of someone who would care back,” she says, which led to a decision to have her first baby shortly after graduating from high school. Kim later married and had a second child, but the recreational drug and alcohol use that had started so early in her life continued and were commonplace. And, when she took an exam to join the police academy, she was denied entrance because she admitted on her application that she used to smoke marijuana. After the birth of her third child, Kim’s marriage ended. What followed was a series of monumental hurdles, ranging from learning to be a single parent, mourning the death of her beloved grandfather and dealing with her daughter’s health issues. With everything hitting at once, Kim was propelled into a daily routine of drug use and drug dealing. Kim spent the years from 1991 to 2008 either in prison or on the street while her grandmother, sister and mother-in-law took care of her children. In 2006, her three children staged an intervention. Kim was tired, so she promised her children she would stay in the Engagement Center, a.k.a the drunk tank, until she could be evaluated. She wasn’t surprised to learn the results of the evaluation. She was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Personality Disorder No. 16 – all of which played right: 15 | SUCCESS LIVES HERE

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